Sean Woods spends all his waking hours searching out and testing cool stuff. So he knows which are gimmicks and which have gravitas. Here’s his list of gizmos you’ve gotta own.
Spot the PC
The new Eee Box desktop PC from Asus is so small it could get lost among the kids’ Harry Potters. The size of an average novel, it can be mounted, placed or hidden virtually anywhere. This mini-marvel delivers high-definition digital entertainment by the cartload. Hook it up to an LCD TV, monitor, projector or home theatre. It’s remote control and works seamlessly with Eee Cinema, a user-friendly, all-in-one media player that supports all popular music, video and photo formats – turning the PC into a complete digital home-entertainment centre. Other features include the latest Wi-Fi 802.11n wireless standard, Bluetooth, a card reader and a 160 GB hard drive. R3500. 011-553-2600, www.asus.com.
Home radio just got better. Tune in around the globe with Tivoli audio’s networks
tabletop internet radio. Accessing am and fm stations via a wi-fi or ethernet roadband connection, it connects to thousands of free radio stations worldwide. R8500. 011-253-9970, www.tadsa.co.za.
Cruise down memory lane
Hey, I’d be the last person to say anything rude about superbikes. After all, adrenaline rushes and sheer terror are part of proudly masculine DNA. But there comes a time when all that horsepower is overkill, and all you want to do is swing your leg over a classy two-wheeler, hit the road and enjoy the scenery at a sensible pace. Here Royal Enfield’s Electra Deluxe takes a bow. Elegantly retro and handsome, the single-cylinder, four-stroke thumper is a modern classic more suited to a gentlemanly cruise than sprinting between traffic lights. R57000. www.royalenfield.co.za.
Just stick it
It’s darn irritating when you turn a corner and your cellphone goes flying across the dashboard to disappear out of reach. The Nano Pad keeps everything in its place. Originally developed for the aviation industry, it works like synthetic gecko feet, using micro suction pads to ensure maximum ‘stick’ without the use of adhesives. It can be mounted on nearly any smooth surface such as walls, glass and dashboards. Expect to pay about R130. 012-361-0585, www.mysolutions.co.za.
Go on, take the plunge
Chilling out after a stressful work week can be a tad harder than self-help books make it out to be. This is where the Travelin’ Tub comes in. It’s a portable, free-standing, wood-fired hot tub that accommodates four adults (six if you’re very friendly). It comes with an easily removable aluminium wood-burning stove and an insulated stainless steel chimney. Weighing in at 60 kg, the tub can be moved easily by two people and the stove takes about an hour to heat up the cold water to 38°C. R16500. www.travelintub.com.
Late-night action movies don’t have to keep the whole family awake: Senheiser’s RS 4200 wireless stereo ‘stethoset’ headphone system allows you to enjoy the action at full volume without disturbing the peace. The transmitter connects to your TV or hi-fi system and transmits sound to the headset. R2199 from The Gadget Shop 012-346-2726, www.thegadgetshop.co.za.
For perfect tipples
If you don’t enjoy kicking off your shoes and savouring a glass of wine at the end of a tough day, we really need to talk. Euro-Cave’s SoWine mini wine bar has two separate compartments, each with independent temperature control, to ensure that your wine – be it red, white or rosé – is served at its ideal temperature. It features an automated oxygen extraction system that retains the wine’s flavours for up to 10 days, reducing wastage and giving more flexibility to enjoy individual bottles over time. R4299 from Wine Essentials 086-010-3770, www.sowine.co.za.
Down to a tee
If you’re serious about improving your handicap, the Sonocaddie V300 Golf GPS could turn out to be the best golfing buddy you’ve ever had. Using the latest GPS technology, it shows your position on course in real time. It also calculates your driving distance using the ‘Mark’ function; it displays the distance to the green from any point of the course, even without a clear line of site; and it calculates your total score, providing useful information such as your performance on the front nine versus the back nine holes. You can change course information (downloaded via the internet) by adding or deleting reference points as the course changes over time. R4499, plus a once-off membership fee of R300 for unlimited local course downloads. 086-166-7466, www.sonocaddie.co.za.